Skip Navigation

Stylebook and Guide to Good Writing

Email to a Friend
Share on Facebook Share on MySpace Tweet This Flagler College Channel at YouTube
Bookmark and Share

Statement of Purpose

Flagler College prides itself on its heritage and reputation. Therefore, it is imperative that all College publications adhere to high standards with regard to style, grammar, punctuation and spelling. Messages should be delivered in a clear and consistent manner. To that end, the Publication Review Board, under the authority of the president, has developed this stylebook and writing guide to assist you in preparing communications (print and electronic) directed to the public. This guide should be used in conjunction with the Visual Identity Manual, which governs the rules and regulations of the College’s visual identity (logos, colors, etc.).

The term “publications” includes, but is not limited to, advertisements, brochures, flyers, handbooks, web pages, e-mails, form letters, press releases, posters, newsletters and direct mail. This guide does not apply to scholarly research, journal articles, faculty-written books/articles or student assignments.

Goals of College Communications

College Publications should be:

  • written in clear, simple language, with respect for the intended audience
  • be well-organized
  • be succinct
  • contain accurate information
  • use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar

To ensure consistency in all communications, questions may be directed to Carrie Pack Chowske in the Office of Marketing Communications before publication.

Overview of Style

The College’s written style is based primarily on AP and Gregg styles — as prescribed by the most current Associated Press Stylebook and The Gregg Reference Manual, respectively. Where Flagler College style differs, the acceptable style is noted in this guide. If this guide does not answer your style question, please refer first to the Associated Press Stylebook or The Gregg Reference Manual. If you still need assistance, you may have your publication reviewed by the Publication Review Board by submitting your document (in electronic format) to at least 30 days prior to your intended publication date.

Using Our Name(s)

You must write out Flagler College on first reference, Flagler or simply “the College” is acceptable on second reference. Capitalize “college” in all instances when referring to Flagler College as a noun, except in press releases or other informative articles (i.e., Flagler College Magazine), or where a general reference to “college” is intended. For example:
The College publishes college policies electronically for all employees and students.

When referring to the president of Flagler College, he should be referred to as President William T. Abare, Jr., Ed.D. or Dr. Abare on second reference. Follow AP Style rules for names in press releases and other informational articles.

In the past, the College expressed a preference for the use of the term “independent,” rather than using the word “private.” However, both are now considered acceptable terms, with “private” taking precedence. This term was adopted for the exclusivity and added value perceived by the general public with regard to private education. The term “independent” can be used to provide clarification that Flagler is both separate from the state university system and without religious affiliation.

The term “comprehensive baccalaureate” is preferred over “liberal arts” when referencing the curriculum at Flagler College. And when providing a contrast to Flagler’s small size and individual attention, reference the state university system as “large, state-supported universities.”

Websites & Other Electronic Names

For consistency and clarification, please use the following names for our electronic databases
and services.

MyFlagler (or; never the portal)
the Flagler College website, the College website (or
Flagler College e-mail (or
The Flagler College Gargoyle, the Gargoyle (or
Flagler College Magazine Online (or or
Ignite (or
Proctor Library Databases (or (or


When referencing a department name, use the following list as a guide. The first name listed should be used on first reference or when used as a sub-brand of the Flagler College logo; other names listed are acceptable only on second reference.

Administrative Offices

Office of the President, President’s Office
Office of the Chancellor, Chancellor’s Office
Office of Academic Affairs, Academic Affairs

Library Services (see also “Proctor Library” under Building Names)

Office of the Registrar, Registrar
Office of Admissions, Admissions
Office of Business Services, Business Services, Business Office

Office of Campus Safety and Security, Security
Human Resources
Student Accounts

Office of External Programs
Office of Institutional Advancement, Advancement

Office of Alumni Relations, Alumni Office, Alumni Relations

Office of College Relations, College Relations

Office of New and Information, News and Information
Office of Marketing Communications, Marketing
WFCF 88.5FM Flagler College Radio, WFCF
Flagler’s Legacy, the Legacy shop

Office of Student Services, Student Services

Health Services
Student Activities

Office of Intercollegiate Athletics
Office of Institutional Technology

Office of Technology Services, Information Technology, IT, Technology Services
Office of Web and New Media Services, Web Office

Counseling Services
Flagler College – Tallahassee (never TCC)

Academic Departments

Capitalize department names when they are the official titles, but not fields of study or generic terms.

  • She has a degree in religion and works in the Department of Liberal Studies.
  • He works in the education department.

A listing of official academic department names follows.

Department of Art and Design
Department of Business Administration
Department of Communication
Department of Education
Department of English
Department of Humanities
Department of Math, Science, and Technology
Department of Social Sciences
Department of Sport Management
Department of Theatre Arts

Faculty/Staff Titles

Staff and faculty members are given titles reflecting their years of service, performance, rank and/or degree(s) held. Therefore, we make every effort to identify them by their correct titles. The official listing of current faculty and staff, along with their titles can be found in the College Catalog for the current academic year.

As a general rule, titles are capitalized when they precede the person’s name and are also formal job titles. Follow AP Style for titles when writing press releases.

  • President William T. Abare Jr. met with John Smith, an assistant professor of education.
  • Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Yvan Kelly met with orientation guide John Smith.

It is preferred that you use the title before the person’s name, but if you are using the title after the person’s name, it must be set off by commas. However, if you are using a “title” as a job description, remember to use lowercase.

  • John Smith, Professor of English, posts his office hours on his door.
  • John Smith, a professor in the English department, posts his office hours on his door.

Keep in mind, a professor’s discipline or field may not be the same as his or her department name. You should clarify whenever the two differ.

  • Timothy Johnson, Associate Professor of Religion, is chair of the Department of Liberal Studies.

For individuals who chair departments or committees, use the term “chair” rather than “chairman,” “chairwoman” or “chairperson.”

Academic Degrees

Much like formal titles, academic degrees reflect specific achievements in one’s field. In order to maintain consistency, please follow these rules when identifying academic degrees.

Generally, academic degrees are lowercased, unless they are abbreviated. The following examples are correct.

  • Jane earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida.
  • John earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of North Florida. He holds a doctoral degree from Florida State.
  • Susan Smith, Ph.D, holds a doctorate in accounting. (Or: She holds a doctoral degree in accounting.)

Alumni of Flagler College are always identified by their graduation year. There are two acceptable ways to note the graduation year.

  • John Doe, ’85, teaches third grade at Roosevelt Middle School. (preferred)
  • John Doe, a 1985 graduate, is a third grade teacher. (acceptable)

Also, we use the appropriate Latin terms to identify graduates of Flagler College.

  • Singular – alumnus (male), alumna (female)
  • Plural – alumni (male or a group of mixed gender), alumnae (female only)

Building Names

When referencing a campus building, use the following list as a guide. The first name listed should be used on first reference; other names listed are acceptable only on second reference. Use street addresses for publicizing events and whenever doing so would help someone locate a campus building.

Ponce de Leon Hall, Ponce Hall
The Dining Hall
Proctor Library, the library
Ringhaver Student Center, Ringhaver, the student center
Gamache-Koger Theatre
Virginia Room
Jay’s Place
Bugg’s Bistro
Crisp-Ellert Art Museum
Molly Wiley Art Building, the art building
Lewis House, Lewis
Cedar Street Residence Hall, Cedar Hall
FEC Residence Halls, FEC
Flagler Gymnasium, the gym
Flagler College Auditorium (never Flagler Auditorium; there is a Flagler Auditorium in Palm Coast),
the auditorium
Kenan Hall, Kenan
Communications Building
Markland House
Wiley Hall
Lawrence Lewis Memorial, the Gazebo
Kenan Hall Plaza
West Lawn


As a general rule, numbers zero through nine should be written out; use numerals for 10 and higher. Ordinals follow this same pattern – first, second, 11th, 22nd.

Spell out numbers for centuries, vaguely identified numbers, or numbers that begin a sentence
(except years).

  • There are thousands of students.
  • She is in her sixties.
  • Two hundred students attended the event.
  • 1972 was the first year Flagler College held a graduation.

Numerals should be used for measurements – age, height, weight, monetary values, time, dates, percentages, etc. The following examples are correct.

  • She was born July 15, 1976, at 5:27 a.m.
  • Please meet us at 2 p.m. (never use 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.; noon and midnight are acceptable)
  • The book cost $99. It was $106.50 with tax.
  • Total textbook revenue was $5.5 million.
  • There will be a 25 percent increase in tuition next year.